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Carbon dioxide retains heat

Los Osos



I have some answers to the questions posed by Dan Mathewson (“Scientists, please reply,” May 7). Scientists do consider the effect of weather patterns when predicting the effects of global warming. Some of the more important are the monsoons, El Niño, and La Niña. Carbon-dioxide gas is fairly transparent to light in general. However, as the earth warms up, it loses heat to the atmosphere by convection and conduction and to space by radiation. This warms the atmosphere. Radiation from the Earth is in the infrared region and carbon dioxide is relatively opaque to infrared, thus causing the greenhouse effect that holds heat in.

I advise anyone wanting to learn more of the subject to read any of the many articles published over the past 20 years in Scientific American or the book Six Degrees by Mark Lynas.

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